Average hourly pay

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2018, employees from the Indian ethnic group had the highest average hourly pay out of all ethnic groups (£13.46)
  • employees from the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic group had the lowest (£9.62)
  • the average hourly pay for White employees was £11.87
  • between 2013 and 2018, employees from the Indian ethnic group had the highest hourly pay every year
  • employees from the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic group had the lowest hourly pay every year
  • the combined average hourly pay for all ethnic groups went up from £10.54 to £11.82 (a 12.1% increase)
Things you need to know

The data comes from the Annual Population Survey (APS).

Employees give their hourly rates of pay as part of the survey.

Asking employees to give their own pay rate (rather than asking their employer, for example) carries a risk of error. The APS is known to underestimate the rates of gross weekly and hourly pay.

Respondents to this survey are interviewed every 3 months, 5 times in total. If someone isn't available for an interview, someone else in the same household can answer for them.

They are asked about their hourly pay in the first and last interviews. For this reason, you should use caution when looking at changes over time.

Average hourly pay is worked out using the median. The median is the middle point of a range of numbers arranged in order. Using the median stops very high and very low values distorting the figures. But it is less reliable for ethnic groups with smaller numbers of respondents.

The data excludes earnings of more than £100 per hour. High values are not very common, so excluding them allows the survey to give more accurate estimates of hourly pay.

Employees’ pay reflects factors as well as ethnicity. These include the industry they work in, their occupation, qualifications, experience and seniority.

Ethnicity was not known for 0.05% of respondents in 2018. Data for people whose ethnicity wasn't known is included in the averages for all ethnic groups ('All' in charts and tables).

As with all surveys, estimates from the APS are subject to some uncertainty as they are based on a sample of the population. The degree of uncertainty is greater when the number of respondents is small. As there are usually fewer respondents from ethnic minorities, any uncertainty is highest for ethnic minority groups.

What the data measures

This data measures the average (median) gross hourly pay in pounds for all employees aged 16 and over in the UK.

‘Gross hourly pay’ is an employee’s hourly pay before any deductions for things like tax and National Insurance.

The ethnic categories used in this data

In most cases, the figures shown on this page are for aggregated ethnic groups.

But separate figures are shown for different Asian ethnic groups:

  • Indian
  • Pakistani and Bangladeshi (combined)
  • Asian Other

This reflects the different employment related outcomes between different Asian ethnic groups.

It is also consistent with other official labour market statistics published by Nomis.

Separate figures are also shown for different White ethnic groups:

  • White British
  • White Other

2. By ethnicity over time

Average hourly pay by ethnicity over time
Ethnicity 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
£ £ £ £ £ £
All 10.54 10.69 10.82 11.02 11.41 11.82
Asian 10.07 9.82 10.16 11.00 11.14 11.80
Indian 11.55 12.03 11.75 12.50 12.76 13.46
Pakistani, Bangladeshi 8.13 7.89 9.11 9.36 9.45 9.62
Asian Other 10.17 9.27 9.76 10.63 11.06 12.50
Black 10.27 10.00 9.91 10.27 10.78 10.80
Mixed 11.00 10.41 10.71 11.26 10.71 12.16
White 10.58 10.81 10.91 11.05 11.46 11.87
White British 10.60 10.83 10.95 11.13 11.53 11.90
White Other 10.13 10.55 10.29 10.38 10.74 11.55
Other 9.69 9.80 10.02 10.17 10.58 10.95

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV)

Summary of Average hourly pay By ethnicity over time Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2018, the average hourly pay was £11.82, up from £10.54 in 2013
  • employees from the Indian ethnic group had the highest hourly pay (£13.46),
  • employees from the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic group had the lowest pay (at £9.62)
  • the gap in hourly pay between employees from the Indian and the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups was wider in 2018 (£3.84) than in 2013 (£3.42)
  • between 2013 and 2018, employees from the Indian ethnic group had the highest hourly pay every year
  • employees from the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic group had the lowest hourly pay every year
  • the biggest increases were in the Asian Other ethnic group (22.9%) and the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic group (18.3%)
  • the smallest increase was in the Black ethnic group (5.2%)

3. Methodology

The Annual Population Survey (APS) is a continuous household survey. Most people are interviewed in person first and later by telephone.

The APS contains 12 months of survey data. It combines data from 4 successive quarters of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) with rolling-year data from the local labour force surveys for England, Wales and Scotland.

The sample size for the full dataset is approximately 320,000 respondents. However, it should be noted that earnings questions are asked only of employees responding to the APS, meaning that sample sizes for earnings analysis tend to be smaller compared with analyses of other labour market characteristics.

This analysis uses the median to report average hourly pay, which is the middle point of a range of numbers arranged in order. A mean average would be more affected by ‘extreme’ values which may not reflect some of the lower paid people in each ethnic group.

Using the median mitigates against extreme values. But as with the mean, it is less reliable for ethnic groups with fewer respondents.

APS earnings data is thought to be of a lower quality than other sources, because people report their own pay however, other sources don’t collect data on people's ethnicity.

Suppression rules and disclosure control

Sample sizes of less than 30 have been excluded, both to protect confidentiality and because the numbers involved are too small to draw any reliable conclusions.

Results above £100 an hour have been excluded because they affect the quality of the data.

Rounding

Figures have been rounded to the nearest pence. Totals may not sum due to rounding.

Quality and methodology information

4. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Office for National Statistics

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The main purpose of the Annual Population Survey (APS) is to provide good quality estimates about the UK workforce.

It is the largest household study in the UK based on how many people it’s sent to and how in depth the questions are. It provides the official measures of employment and unemployment.

The survey measures all elements of people's work, including:

  • the education and training needed to equip them for work
  • features of their jobs
  • unemployment and jobseeking
  • income from work and benefits

5. Download the data

Average Hourly Pay - Spreadsheet (csv) 5 KB

Ethnicity, year, median hourly pay, mean hourly pay, denominator (weighted)